HC Deb 01 March 1858 vol 149 cc72-4

Order for the further consideration of this Bill, as amended, read.


said, there could be no doubt of the great importance of this Bill—indeed, he might almost say the urgent necessity—that the East India Company should be furnished with additional powers for raising money, in order to meet the exigencies of the public service in India. Nevertheless it could not be denied that this Bill was of so important a character, and contained so many important provisions, that it would not be right that the final stage of the Bill should be taken without further discussion, or that the discussion should not take place in the absence of the responsible Ministers of the Crown. There was one clause which appeared to him to introduce a new principle, and to give more extensive powers to the East India Company than they had already. On these grounds Government thought it more respectful to the House that the Bill should be postponed till Friday, the 12th of March, when it would be brought on as soon as possible, after sufficient Votes had been taken in Supply to enable the Mutiny Bill to be introduced.


must be allowed to say that he regretted the determination at which the Government had arrived. It was very important that the East India Directors should be in a position to carry on the home service of the government of India. If the Bill were postponed until Friday week, it was quite probable that it would not pass into law before Easter; and in that case the East India Company might be without the means of raising the funds necessary for conducting the business of India—a state of things which would be productive of great inconvenience to them, and, possibly, also to Her Majesty's Government, to whom they would be unable to repay the sums owing by them.


wished to know whether, on going into Committee, it had not been distinctly understood that Clause 11 should be withdrawn?


said, upon a former occasion he had stated his desire that the Bill should be passed without containing any objectionable powers, and he had agreed to the omission of the 11th clause, and to the reduction of the amount to be raised by the East India Company from £10,000,'000 to £8,000,000. With that understanding he left the House, believing it had been generally agreed to. With respect to the Bill itself, he supposed the Government would fix a day when it could be discussed, for if the House were to go into the Army and Navy Estimates on Friday, 12th of March, it would be impossible to expect this Bill to he fully considered on that evening.


was certain the East India Company need not anticipate any factious opposition to the Bill, which was undoubtedly one of great importance; but before disposing of it the House ought to know what were the intentions of Her Majesty's present advisers respecting the Government of India Bill. He thought that it was quite possible there might be some modification in the terms of the loan when the intentions of the Government were made known. At present the East India Company could not go into the market to borrow money upon the best terms while it was uncertain whether they would long exist as a Company or not. The security of the loan must he considerably affected by these circumstances, and he was sure it would be better for all parties that they should know the intention of Her Majesty's Government before they proceeded with the Bill.


said, it was not the intention of the Government on Friday week to proceed with the Army or Navy Estimates further than was necessary to enable them to introduce the Mutiny Bill.


presumed it was not intended on Friday week to do more than to take Votes of men and sums on account. With respect to the 11th clause, he wished to explain how it had been retained in the Bill. When that particular clause was reached in Committee, he had moved that it be expunged, but the Chairman of the East India Directors (Mr. Mangles) stated that it would be inconvenient to omit the clause, and proceeded to meet the objections which had been made to it by the hon. Member for London (Mr. Crawford), who appeared to be satisfied with the explanation; and as no other person objected to the clause, he (Sir G. Lewis) did not think it was his duty to adhere to his Motion for its omission.


reminded the right hon. Baronet that the Bill had been discussed in Committee with an attendance of less than forty Members. Nothing could be fairer than the proposal of the hon. Gentleman opposite, and there could be no injury done by adjourning the present stage of the Bill, beyond the loss of one day.


explained that on Friday week the Votes to be taken in Supply would only extend to the number of men for the two services, and to sufficient sums of money to warrant the introduction of the Mutiny Bill. The sums of money would be taken on account or otherwise as might be deemed most advisable. It was, of course, intended to proceed with the East India Loan Bill as soon and as rapidly as possible.


protested against any grant of money to the incoming Government until the House had been made acquainted with their opinions. He hoped their political measures would be better than their political morals.

Further Consideration, as amended, deferred till Friday, 12th March.

House adjourned at a Quarter before Five o'clock till Friday, 12th March.